Habitat for Humanity has new leader


First Posted: 12/17/2009

More than four months after losing its leader to a massive heart attack, the Greater Mount Airy Habitat for Humanity has a new executive director.
Joe Dellinger has been named to head the organization that provides low-cost housing to deserving local families.
Dellinger, 58, of Mount Airy, will begin work on Jan. 4, according to Paul Eich, a member of Habitats board of directors. Eich recently has headed the housebuilding entity on an interim basis, due to the death of Tim VanHoy on July 31 at age 42.
While VanHoys loss was a shock to the organization as well as the community, Eich indicated Thursday that Dellinger should be able to pick up where VanHoy left off based on his varied qualifications.
Dellinger, who was among at least a dozen serious candidates for the executive director position, has management, construction and other experience that should greatly benefit his new role with Habitat for Humanity, Eich said.
Weve really lucked out hes just a fine, fine person, he added.
Dellinger formerly was manager of Eckerd Drug in Mount Airy, which later became Rite Aid. He also has been active with the community, including numerous outreach projects of Grace Moravian Church. He has been involved with mission trips as well as relief efforts to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina and flooding in Indiana.
He additionally has played a key role in campaigns to provide coats for the less-fortunate and backpack programs at local schools that supply food to families in need.
Eich also pointed out that Dellinger has been involved with the Habitat program in the past, including helping to launch its first houses on Apostle Drive here. That included work to clear old tires and other debris from the building sites beforehand.
Referring to Dellingers humanitarian efforts along with his management and construction experience, Eich said, Hes an excellent Christian gentleman.
In addition to overseeing housebuilding projects, the new executive director will direct a paid staff of seven persons at the agency, which has a portfolio of about $1 million in houses and land targeted for new dwellings.
The organization also operates a store, which should benefit by Dellingers former work with the drugstore chain, according to Eich, who introduced the new Habitat leader at Thursday nights meeting of the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners.
Once you see him in action, youll know God sent the right guy, Eich said of Dellinger Thursday night.
Contact Tom Joyce at [email protected] or at 719-1924.

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